While the seven-time defending series champions the Queensland Maroons have today announced an unchanged 2013 State Of Origin team for game three next Wednesday, July 13, the struggling New South Wales Blues have been forced…
The State of Origin is a heated battle between Queensland and New South Wales and is one of the most glorified sporting events in Australia. Each year thousands of rugby league fans wear either maroon or blue in support of their team and at each of the three matches, the stadiums are packed to the brim with spectators. The skills needed to play in the State of Origin are above the standard NRL playing skills and there is a huge amount of pressure for players on either side to perform at their best for their state.
The idea of the State of Origin originated in 1979 when Sydney clubs were attracting the best Queensland footballers to their side due to the state’s financial power. As a consequence, there was little interstate competition as the level of quality players was much higher in New South Wales than in Queensland. Queensland Senator Ron Macauliffe noticed this problem and set out to create a game where players were required to represent the state in which they first played senior football. Although the idea was supported by Kevin Humphreys, other NSWRL clubs were not as keen on the idea however with some encouragement from the Senator, the game took off in 1980.
With Arthur Beetson as the first Queensland State of Origin captain, the maroons won 20-10 in what was one of the biggest rugby league games of the year. Since then, the State of Origin has become the leading rugby league game on the east coast and is one of the biggest sports watched on television.
To become a player in the State of Origin, players must be eligible to represent Australia at an international level and must play for the state in which they first played senior football for. The two leagues involved are the Queensland Rugby League and the New South Wales Rugby League. Over the years, these two leagues have produced some the of most incredible State of Origin players Australia has ever seen including Wally Lewis, Michael O’Connor and Mal Meninga.
Queensland’s greatest victory arose in the 1989 Game #1 at Lang Park on May 23. The Maroons won by 30 points with a final score of 36-6. The four greatest names associated with the Queensland team have to be Allan Langer, Mal Meninga, Wally Lewis and Darren Lockyer. Meninga appeared in 32 State of Origin games, followed by Langer with 30, Lewis with 25 and Lockyer with 24 games. However it is Wally Lewis who held 29 captaincies during his Origin career followed by Lockyer with 10 and Meninga with 9.
Between 1980 and 1994, Mal Meninga managed to score a total of 161 points during his Origin career, setting a new record which is yet to be beaten. He also holds the record for the most amount of goals with the footy legend scoring 69 goals in 14 years, punters who bet on Mal deserve a medal. Dale Shearer is remembered for scoring a record total of 11 tries between 1985 and 1996.
QLD State of Origin Victories:
In 2009 the Queensland team consisted of -
Billy Slater; Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Israel Folau, Darren Lockyer, Johnathan Thurston, Steven Price, Cameron Smith, Petero Civoniceva, Ashley Harrison, Sam Thaiday, Dallas Johnson.
Interchange: Karmichael Hunt, Ben Hannant, Nate Myles, Michael Crocke.
Billy Slater; Israel Folau, Greg Inglis, Willie Tonga, Darius Boyd, Darren Lockyer, Johnathan Thurston, Steve Price, Cameron Smith, Petero Civoniceva, Ashley Harrison, Sam Thaiday, Dallas Johnson.
Interchange: Karmichael Hunt, Ben Hannant, Nate Myles, Michael Crocker.
Billy Slater; Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Willie Tonga, Darren Lockyer, Johnathan Thurston, Steve Price, Cameron Smith, Matt Scott, Ashley Harrison, Sam Thaiday, Dallas Johnson.
Interchange: Karmichael Hunt, David Shillington, Neville Costingan, Michael Crocker.
The Blues played their greatest game in 2000 when they annihilated Queensland 56-16 during game #3 at Stadium Australia on June 7. With a total of 31 matches under his belt, Brad Fittler was the most successful State of Origin player with an impressive career spanning between 1990 and 2004. Following Fittler is Andrew Ettingshausen who played a total of 27 matches between 1987 and 1998. On the New South Wales side, the greatest player of all time is Michael O’Connor who blitzed the NSW record book with a total of 129 points, 11 tries and 42 goals during his amazing Origin career.
State of Origin Victories:
In 2009 the New South Wales team consisted of:
Kurt Gidley; Jarryd Hayne, Jamie Lyon, Michael Jennings, James McManus, Terry Campese, Peter Wallace, Brent Kite, Robbie Farah, Luke Bailey, Ben Creagh, Luke O’Donnell, Paul Gallen.
Interchange: Craig Wing, Justin Poore, Glenn Stewart, Michael Weyman.
Kurt Gidley; Jarryd Hayne, Michael Jennings, Jamie Lyon, David Williams, Trent Barrett, Peter Wallace, Brent Kite, Robbie Farrah, Michael Weyman, Ben Creagh, Luke O’Donnell, Paul Gallen.
Interchange: Craig Wing, Justin Poore, Glenn Stewart, Anthony Watmough.
Kurt Gidley; Jarryd Hayne, Michael Jennings, Jamie Lyon, David Williams, Trent Barrett, Brett Kimmorley, Justin Poore, Michael Ennis, Josh Perry, Ben Creagh, Trent Waterhouse, Anthony Watmough.
Interchange: Brett White, Craig Wing, Glenn Stewart, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs.